Keen sailors kick off Coastal Classic, drawing attention of yachting's big guns

The Coastal Classic kicked off today, with keen sailors taking to the water in boats from all classes to make the voyage from Auckland to Russell.

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Boats of all classes featured among the 175 entries. However, this year’s race boasted the presence of some America’s Cup rigs. Source: 1 NEWS

The event usually features a wide range of entrants, from keen young sailors to Kiwi sailing veterans.

Two such legends are Murray Jones and Owen Rutter, who are both competing against their children.

There is no love lost when on the water, however, with Jones issuing a ‘tip’ for his daughter racing in the New Zealand Ocean Racing Boat.

“Keep out of our way,” he warned.

With Auckland hosting the America’s Cup this year, the event has also drawn the presence of Auckland harbour’s newest occupants.

Although no AC75s were entered in the race, British challengers Team INEOS made waves with their racing rig ‘Britannia’ passing through.

American Magic skipper Dean Barker also made an appearance.

The former Team New Zealand skipper is no stranger to the event, having participated in the Coastal Classic multiple times.

1 NEWS reporter Michelle Prendiville went out on the water today, catching up with some of the participants in the event and spotting some America’s Cup challengers in the process.